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SL-A v SA-A (1)
ENG v IRE (1)
Vitality Blast (8)
Charlotte Edwards (4)

Rising star: Sam Northeast

Mark Pennell profiles the precocious Sam Northeast

Mark Pennell

Sam Northeast batting during this year's Eton-Harrow match. He again failed to make an impression, being run-out just as he was getting going © Martin Williamson
Why is he so special?
Has scored 40 centuries in schools and age-group cricket since first picking up a cricket bat aged six. Hit 19 hundreds during 2003, 11 of which contributed to an average of 291 in his final year at Wellesley House Preparatory School. Chris Cowdrey (73), Graham Cowdrey (85) and Alex Loudon (44) fared less well in their final seasons there. Survived the Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka (where he was touring with Harrow School) and in 2005 won seven national awards including the BBC Test Match Special young cricketer of the year and the Gray-Nicolls best schools cricketer. Also won a Daily Telegraph Bunbury Scholarship after finishing joint top-scorer at the 2005 Bunbury Festival and leading the England Under-15 run-scorers. Is the youngest to have played in the Eton v Harrow match at Lord's, scored 96 on Kent 2nd XI debut v Derbyshire last summer and an unbeaten 62 against the 2006 Sri Lankans in May to help Sir JP Getty's XI to a memorable 16-run victory.
Batting philosophy and favourite player
"I don't like to take too many risks or go aerial too early in an innings. I always prefer to play to my strengths. Once I get in I'll open up a little but I won't play shots I don't like or feel uncomfortable with, which includes the sweep. I liked the way Graham Thorpe gritted it out and think he never got the credit he deserved for his achievements in a struggling England side. Even when you're not batting at your best you have to fight it out in this game and, like Graham Thorpe, I hate getting out."
High point
"The whole experience of playing against the Sri Lankans at Wormsley made for an incredible day, especially as the Getty XI managed to win. Being able to face a Test attack and pit my wits against Muralitharan was a great opportunity and one I enjoyed. I was fortunate that the pitch was reasonably slow and that helped me hang in for grim death at the start. I felt I'd coped with Murali quite well until he stuffed me with about four doosras."
Low Point
"I've played twice at Lord's in the Harrow v Eton game and have failed on both occasions so far. With luck I've got three more years and three further opportunities to play in the game, so that's something I'd like to put right."
Enjoyment of other sports
A national age-group schools rackets champion in doubles and singles, he turned down trials for the English Independent Schools football team. A Middlesex rugby triallist at fly-half, Kent 400m and long-jump age-group record holder, he also plays squash for Harrow. "Apart from helping to keep me fit, I like the team ethic of football. I also enjoy the physicality of rugby and am beginning to see that going against a big prop forward can be useful when it comes to facing quick bowlers and listening to occasional comments from the slips. Rackets helps with reflexes and hand-eye co-ordination. It is unique because it's played with a hard ball that's coming at you at up to 160mph. Get in the way of it and you don't get up very quickly, so it also helps with agility and foot movement."
What they say about him
Graham Ford, Kent's director of cricket and former coach of South Africa: "I was fortunate to witness his 62 not out against the Sri Lankans at Wormsley and his sound technique impressed me, delightfully quick feet and what appears to be a very tough, mature mind for a 16-year-old. There were two moments that stood out: firstly when he came down the wicket to on-drive Muralitharan for four, then when he rocked on to the back foot to force a decent length ball from Nuwan Zoysa through extra cover. They were flashes of class."